Gameday Injury Expectations: Week 8

What to expect from this week's injured offensive players

UNDERSTANDING THE NFL'S INJURY REPORT

The injury report released by the NFL is actually two reports. The first is the Practice Participation report, which lists which injured players were able to practice and how much. It also includes players who rested or missed practice for non-injury related reasons. The second is the Game Status Report, which gives the probability a player will play, i.e. Questionable, Doubtful, Out. The Practice Participation Report is released every day of the week (Monday through Saturday). The Game Status Report is released with the Friday participation report (Wednesday for Thursday games, Saturday for Monday games).

The NFL has made the practice participation report more complicated this season. Teams are no longer allowed to declare players "probable" to play. The current designations are Questionable (Uncertain to Play), Doubtful (Unlikely to Play), and Out. In our Monday Injury Rounds column, we'll often review how these changes are impacting the injury reports.

In this feature, I'll include the Game Status Listing, my expectation of their likelihood to play, and the player's practice participation throughout the week.

Here's the Key:

PLAYER | INJURY | GAME STATUS LISTING | FOOTBALLGUYS EXPECTATION

Practice Participation Listing by Day

* = playing on Monday night

I'll also include a table at the bottom of the article for easy reference.

Here's the latest on every relevant injured offensive player on the practice participation and game status report this week:


QUARTERBACK

Russell Wilson  | Knee / Pectoral | Not Listed | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Full

The injuries continue to mount for Wilson, who now has a pectoral muscle strain along with a nagging high ankle sprain and MCL sprain. Wilson said doctors told him the MCL sprain was severe enough to require four weeks of rest to heal. Wilson hasn't missed any time, however, and will again start for Seattle this week. Pete Carroll told reporters he felt Wilson's mobility was improving but they chose to limit Wilson's reps this week to minimize the risk of aggravation. Wilson has found ways to be productive but he now has an injury to this throwing side that could limit his accuracy and arm strength. Already limited around the pocket, it's possible the pectoral strain will further affect his play and production.

Josh McCown | Shoulder | Not Listed | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Full | Thurs - Full | Fri - Full

McCown is returning ahead of schedule. He's six weeks removed from a high grade AC sprain w/ an associated fracture at the end of his collarbone. It's an injury that often takes closer to eight weeks to heal. McCown has been re-conditioning for multiple weeks, however, and was reportedly throwing without limitation this week. He's been cleared for contact and fully practicing. There's some risk of aggravation but McCown comes into this game at near full strength.

Others of note: Andrew Luck (shoulder), Carson Palmer (hamstring), Brock Osweiler (foot), Jay Cutler (thumb) are not listed on the injury report and expected to play without limitation. Tony Romo (back) and Cody Kessler (concussion) have been declared out. I'll update return-to-play expectations on Monday.


RUNNING BACK

LESEAN MCCOY | HAMSTRING | Doubtful | Inactive

Practice Participation: Wed - DNP | Thurs - DNP | Fri - DNP

Shortly after last week's game, McCoy admitted he shouldn't have played. He won't be in position to risk another aggravation this week. McCoy didn't practice, is listed doubtful, and Rex Ryan all but said he'd be inactive this week. It's the most sensible approach with a hamstring strain that's failed multiple tests over the past week. Hopefully, McCoy will be able to play next week then rest through Buffalo's Week 10 bye.

Sunday Update: Both Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport tweeted this morning that McCoy will not play today. No surprise here. The hope is that McCoy will be ready return next Monday night, but the Bills' Week 10 bye may affect decision-making here.

Lamar Miller | Shoulder | Questionable | Active / ? Limited

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Miller told reporters on Friday he had numbness in his shoulder and arm after a hit last week. Whether the injury was a stinger, bruise, or sprain isn't known. Tested by the medical staff on the sideline, Miller showed enough strength and range of motion to be cleared to return last week. Bill O'Brien told reporters he was encouraged by Miller's progress this week and Miller told reporters he expected to play. Though the late week trend has been positive and Miller looks to be in line to play, it's likely the Texans will limit Miller's workload this week. I expect Miller's ceiling to be closer to 15-18 touches rather than 20+. Miller will also be at risk of leaving the game early if he's hit in the same area.

Sunday Update: Ian Rapoport says Miller is "adamant" he's playing today but "there are real concerns about how much and how long he'll last." 

Devonta Freeman | Hip | Not Listed | Expected to Play

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Full | Fri - Full

There was concern after Wednesday's limited, non-contact practice. However, the Falcons knew they'd be without Tevin Coleman this week and were likely more concerned about minimizing the risk of aggravating a mild injury for Freeman than about the injury itself. Freeman fully practiced on Thursday and Friday and is not listed on the game status report. He should see his usual workload.

*Jeremy Langford | Ankle | Questionable | Limited if Active

Practice Participation: Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited | Sat - Limited

Langford was given a recovery timetable of 4-6 weeks after his high ankle sprain earlier this year. Now four weeks after the injury and back to limited practices, there are indications (Chicago cut a running back this week) Langford is close to returning. Some local observers believe Langford could be active Monday night, but he'll see a limited workload at best.

*Jerick McKinnon | Ankle | DECLARED oUT | iNACTIVE

Practice Participation: Thurs - DNP | Fri - DNP | Sat - DNP

McKinnon wasn't cleared to bear weight without a walking boot until Thursday. It's possible treatment will progress successfully in time for him to play this week, but it's unlikely. Running backs who require a boot through midweek after a high ankle sprain often need more than one week of recovery. We'll see what his Saturday practice participation brings.

Saturday Update: McKinnon did not practice Saturday and was declared out.

Theo Riddick | Ankle | Not Listed | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Full | Fri - Full

The Lions never revealed what was ailing Riddick but his full practice on Thursday and Friday was very reassuring. Not listed on the game status report, Riddick will return this week and could see close to his pre-injury workload.

Mike Gillislee | Foot | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Gillislee has been limited all week with a foot injury but every local observer expects him to be available this week to start for LeSean McCoy. Without knowing the specific diagnosis, it's difficult to read the limited week of practice. Watch for more information through the weekend, but I'll tentatively trust the local reports until we hear otherwise.

Others of note: Matt Forte (knee), Frank Gore (knee), Bilal Powell (toe), Dwayne Washington (ankle), and Don Jackson (hand) are not listed on the injury report and expected to play. Powell is at highest risk of an in-game aggravation. C.J. Anderson (knee), Tevin Coleman (hamstring), Doug Martin (hamstring), Jamaal Charles (knee), Thomas Rawls (fibula), Matt Jones (knee), and James Starks (knee) have been declared out. I'll update return-to-play expectations on Monday.


WIDE RECEIVER

DEz Bryant | Knee | Questionable | Expected to Play

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited 

Bryant has been adamant for weeks he'd return after the W7 bye. I expected at least one full practice this week but all indications have Bryant returning as expected. Bryant himself said he did not expect to be on a snap count. Five weeks removed from the bone bruise in his knee, Bryant should be without pain or swelling and ready to assume his usual workload. Practice cannot replicate the stress and speed of live game action, which puts Bryant at risk of ineffectiveness in his first week back.


****Ty Montgomery will reportedly be inactive with an illness per Jay Glazer and Rob Demovsky. He was limited in practice all week. There were no local reporters noting concern late in the week.****


Randall Cobb | Hamstring | Questionable | Inactive

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Mike McCarthy told reporters Cobb was "very limited" on Thursday but most local observers expect him to play. The limited run of practice after a bye week to rest suggests this strain has the team concerned about aggravation. I think Cobb is likely more probable than doubtful but I'm leaving him as a game-time decision until we get something more definitive from the team.

Sunday Update: Both Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport tweeted this morning that the Packers are planning to cautious with Cobb and hold him out today. More on this as we get closer to game time.

Donte Moncrief | Shoulder | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Full

Moncrief returned to practice this week but wasn't cleared for contact until Friday. That's likely not a concern. Moncrief has been able to keep in good cardiovascular condition despite the injury and knows the playbook well enough to need little practice. The med staff and coaches knew what to expect here and Moncrief should be included in the game plan immediately. Local writers have already confirmed that Moncrief will play and I would expect to see only a small drop from his pre-injury target count this week.

Terrelle Pryor | Hamstring | Not Listed | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Full

Pryor didn't look fully healthy last week but finished the game without any setbacks. It wasn't clear by midweek whether Pryor would return this week but the Friday full practice was telling. The Browns did not list Pryor on their game status report, which is another sign the hamstring strain is of minimal concern. Though not entirely outside the window for aggravation, Pryor looks likely to see his usual number of targets this week.

Tyrell Williams | Knee | Questionable | Active
Travis Benjamin | Knee | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - DNP | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Mike McCoy told reporters on Wednesday both Benajmin and Williams were getting a day of rest on Wednesday due to high snap counts and usage. Limited Thursday and Friday practices would seem to corroborate McCoy's argument. Though both San Diego receivers are listed questionable, both are expected to play.

John Brown | Hamstring | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Brown's recovery from a hamstring strain was complicated by sickle cell trait which can slow healing when it flares up. Brown's media session was very positive on Friday, however, and he's in line to start this weekend. I have not seen any reports suggesting Brown may see fewer snaps than usual this week, but it's possible. If pregame reports are reassuring, Brown will be in line for his usual workload. I'll update here with any reports of concern.

Michael Floyd | Hamstring | Questionable | Active / Limited

Practice Participation: Wed - DNP | Thurs - DNP | Fri - Limited

Floyd managed only a limited Friday practice this week. The Cardinals have not ruled Floyd out this week but he's likely to be used sparingly if he's active.

*Cameron Meredith | Stomach | Questionable | Awaiting Information

Practice Participation: Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited | Sat - Limited

I can't find any reports of what's ailing Meredith. It could be a muscle strain, contusion, or illness. The limited practices suggest it's most likely something minor but I'm not going to pass judgment on Meredith until after Chicago's Saturday practice. Hopefully, we'll see a full practice and Meredith will avoid a questionable tag and game-time decision.

Others of note: Brandon Marshall (foot), T.Y. Hilton (hip), Marvin Jones (not injury related), Julian Edelman (foot) and Demaryius Thomas (hip) are not listed on the injury report as expected to see their usual workload. Corey Coleman (hand) has been declared out and Eddie Royal (toe) is likely to be inactive. I'll update return-to-play expectations on Monday.


TIGHT END

JORDAN REED | CONCUSSION | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

I don't believe Reed would have been allowed to travel to London unless he'd been cleared for contact by an independent neurologist. A full Friday practice would have most reassuring and there's no guarantee the team will activate Reed despite the positive signs here. But the expectation from all observers is that Reed will play. Judged to be fully recovered, it's likely Washington would use Reed heavily immediately.

Sunday Update: Reed has been cleared to play today.

Jimmy Graham | Knee | Not Listed | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - DNP | Thurs - Full | Fri - Full

Graham got a veteran day of rest on Wednesday but fully practiced Thursday and Friday. The Seahawks did not include the back or hip concern from recent weeks on this week's injury report. Graham is dealing with multiple minor injuries but should see his usual workload this week.

Martellus Bennett | Ankle | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Limited | Fri - DNP

The official NFL game status communication says Bennett was limited in practice on Friday. But every beat writer tweeted a printed copy of a participation report with a Friday DNP for Bennett and he was seen leaving the field just as the media portion of practice opened. There were also no post-practice media quotes from Bennett. It's very difficult to read New England's particular brand of questionable, so I'll keep Bennett as a GTD until we hear more this weekend.

Sunday Update: Bennett is expected to play today according to multiple sources on Twitter.

Jason Witten | Chest | Questionable | Expected to Play

Practice Participation: Wed - Full | Thurs - Full | Fri - Full

Witten is listed questionable this week but has fully practiced all week. I believe he's mostly healthy and likely to start and see his usual workload.

Hunter Henry | Concussion | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Full | Fri - Full

The Chargers allowed Henry to fully practice on Thursday and Friday but hadn't sent Henry to the independent neurologist as of Friday's participation and game status report. Every local writer expects Henry to clear the final stage of the return-to-play protocol and play this week. Barring a surprise, Henry should play against Buffalo and see his usual number of targets. 

Eric Ebron | Ankle / Knee | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - Limited | Thurs - Full | Fri - Full

Unlike Marvin Jones, Theo Riddick, and Dwayne Washington who were not listed on Detroit's game status report, Ebron was tagged questionable. Observers were impressed with how well Ebron moved last week in sideline individual rehab drills, but the Lions chose to make Ebron inactive. This week, Ebron fully practiced on Thursday and Friday. The Lions wouldn't commit to Ebron playing -- "if he's available, I'm sure he'll make his way out there" -- but local writers expect him to return after a reassuring Friday media session. He may be limited but rehab reports have been very positive.

Charles Clay | Knee | Questionable | Active

Practice Participation: Wed - DNP | Thurs - Limited | Fri - Limited

Clay often rests early in the week, manages limited consecutive practices by the end of the week, then plays -- and often productively. The expectation should be the same this week for Clay, who's been listed questionable and played a high number of snaps earlier in the season.

Others of Note: Dwayne Allen (ankle) and Jared Cook (ankle) have been declared out. I'll update return-to-play expectations on Monday.

*Note: Monday night players with asterisk practice Thursday/Friday/Saturday


Quarterbacks
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Russell Wilson Knee / Pectoral Limited Limited Full Not Listed Active
Andrew Luck Shoulder / Ankle Not Listed Limited Full Not Listed Active
Tony Romo Back DNP Limited DNP Declared Out Inactive
Carson Palmer Hamstring Limited Limited Full Not Listed Active
Brock Osweiler Foot Full Full Full Not Listed Active
Cody Kessler Concussion DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Josh McCown Shoulder Full Full Full Not Listed Active
Trevor Siemian Shoulder Full Full Full Not Listed Active

Running Backs
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
LeSean McCoy Hamstring  DNP DNP DNP Doubtful Inactive
C.J. Anderson Knee DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Lamar Miller Shoulder Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active / Limited
Devonta Freeman Hip Limited Full Full Not Listed Active
Tevin Coleman Hamstring DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Doug Martin Hamstring DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Matt Forte Knee Limited DNP Full Not Listed Active
Matt Jones Knee DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Frank Gore Not Injury Related DNP Full Full Not Listed Active
Thomas Rawls Fibula DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
*Jerick McKinnon Ankle *DNP *DNP *DNP Declared Out Inactive
Jamaal Charles Knee Limited Limited DNP Declared Out Inactive
Theo Riddick Ankle Limited Full Full Not Listed Active
*Jeremy Langford Ankle *Limited *Limited *Limited Questionable Limited if Active
Bilal Powell Toe DNP Limited Full Not Listed Active
Mike Gillislee Foot Limited Limited Limited  Questionable Active
James Starks Knee DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Don Jackson Hand Full Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Dwayne Washington Ankle Full Full Full Not Listed Inactive
Tyler Ervin Knee Limited Full Full Not Listed Active
Lance Dunbar Knee Limited Limited Limited Questionable Limited if Active

Wide Receivers
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Dez Bryant Knee Limited Limited Limited Questionable Expected to Play
Brandon Marshall Foot DNP Limited Full Not Listed Active
T.Y. Hilton Hip Not Listed DNP Full Not Listed Active
Marvin Jones Not Injury Related DNP Full Full Not Listed Active
Randall Cobb Hamstring Limited Limited Limited Questionable Inactive
Demaryius Thomas Hip Limited Limited Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Donte Moncrief Shoulder Limited Limited Full Questionable Active
Julian Edelman Foot Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Tyrell Williams Knee DNP Limited Limited Questionable Active
Terrelle Pryor Hamstring Limited Limited Full Not Listed Active
*Cameron Meredith Stomach *Limited *Limited *Limited Questionable Expected to Play
Travis Benjamin Knee DNP Limited Limited Questionable Active
*Eddie Royal Toe *DNP *DNP *DNP Doubtful Unlikely to Play
John Brown Hamstring Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Jordan Matthews Knee Limited Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
DeSean Jackson Hamstring / Shoulder Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Ty Montgomery Illness Limited Limited Limited Questionable Inactive
Michael Floyd Hamstring DNP DNP Limited Questionable Active / Limited
Corey Coleman Hand Limited Limited Limited Declared Out Inactive
Jamison Crowder Groin Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Mohamed Sanu Groin Full Full Full Not Listed Expected to Play
Robert Woods Foot Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Tyler Lockett Thigh Limited Full Full Questionable Active / ? Limited
*Cordarrelle Patterson Concussion *DNP *DNP *Limited Questionable Expected to Play
Marquise Goodwin Concussion DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Phillip Dorsett Hamstring Limited Full Full Not Listed Active

Tight Ends
Player Injury Practice Participation Game Status FBGs Expects
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Jordan Reed Concussion Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Jimmy Graham Knee DNP Full Full Not Listed Active
Martellus Bennett Ankle Limited Limited Limited Questionable Active
Jason Witten Chest Full Full Full Questionable Expected to Play
Dwayne Allen Ankle DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive
Charles Clay Knee DNP Limited Limited Questionable Active
Eric Ebron Ankle / Knee Limited Full Full Questionable Active
Hunter Henry Concussion Limited Full Full Questionable Expected to Play
Vernon Davis Groin Limited Limited Full Questionable Active
Jared Cook Ankle DNP DNP DNP Declared Out Inactive

*Note: Monday night players with asterisk practice Thursday/Friday/Saturday

Follow me on Twitter @JeneBramel for breaking injury news and analysis throughout the week.